A Howard County, Missouri, coroner’s jury ruled on Tuesday that a former Dairy Queen manager is charged with involuntary manslaughter, stemming from a suicide incident last year, when a teen took his life after endless bullying.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Kenneth Suttner, 17, of Glasgow, shot himself in the head in December 1, 2016, after writing numerous suicide notes that detailed horrific bullying and abuse. Harley Branham, 21, was Suttner’s manager at the Fayette Dairy Queen.
Harley Branham pictures,death of employee Kenneth Suttner https://t.co/sK8FH6GJ8o pic.twitter.com/MkVzZpcZZG
— infowe (@infowe) February 16, 2017
According to a number of Dairy Queen employees, Branham constantly ridiculed and harassed Suttner each time he reported to work. She’s also accused of forcing the teen to perform degrading tasks in front others, such as cleaning the floor with his hands while lying on the floor. She also allegedly threw a cheeseburger at him and accused him of “making it wrong.”
At a previous hearing, Branham declared that she didn’t understand why she was being singled out as the responsible party for Suttner’s suicide.
“There’s a lot of people at Dairy Queen saying I was the reason’ he killed himself, but I don’t understand why it would be that way.”
Branham wasn’t the only one blamed for the teen’s suicide. A six-person jury found Dairy Queen responsible for failing to train employees correctly and the Glasgow School District responsible for failing to prevent bullying. Suttner attended Glasgow High School where he faced bullies constantly.
Bullying from former boss seen as contributing factor to 17-year-old Kenneth Suttner's suicide: https://t.co/S6Q66pyJRe pic.twitter.com/A25bH9G6TC
— Columbia Missourian (@CoMissourian) February 1, 2017
Shortly after the verdict was read, a Howard County sheriff’s deputy put Branham in cuffs and arrested her. She returns to court for a preliminary hearing on May 25.
Suttner’s parents hope that the verdict will help the school district face its problem of ongoing bullying. They also felt that Branham’s arrest was, in a way, justice for their son.
[Feature Photo: Glasgow PD & Facebook]